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Archive for the ‘Awaiting Christmas’ Category


Haha! No blog post for three days 🙂

The thing is, I was again distracted reading lovely books which I could not put down. When you are focused on something else, blogging takes a back seat.

It’s been a rather busy weekend. Finally, Josef and I are done with grocery shopping which is good until New Year (the first week of 2020). I have to make a list so I won’t forget. Still I have to go back this morning to search for items that I clearly forgot. Now I remember,  I forgot to buy a roll of aluminum foil which I will use for my Embutido.  Another trip to the supermarket  one of these days. Senior moments indeed.

Ah, according to my Christmas clock, there are 43 days more to go before Christmas. We were able to squeeze in putting up some decor over the weekend.  Around this time the past few years, you would notice almost every home decked with Christmas lights and lanterns, they’re now missing though. Maybe it’s because economic hardship in our country is so glaring,  most people would rather spend  on necessities for their daily needs. Anyway, we could always spend the season quietly as long as we know why we are celebrating, right?

The nights are getting colder and we still experience thunderstorms now and then. Looking forward to PAGASA’s declaration of hanging amihan when the Siberian winds bring in the cold weather. Those are the days when you truly remember the loveliest season of the year which is of course Christmas.

I asked Josef early this morning why he was wearing a t-shirt and maong pants. He said that it is a holiday in the US today and since they are working in a US bank, they are allowed casual wear at the office.

HAPPY VETERANS’ DAY  to all my friends who live in the US.

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I just laughed and smiled.

A few days ago, I saw this video on Facebook featuring our talented and famous local artist  Jose Mari Chan introducing some of his new compositions along with old songs that were so popular playing in the air lanes in recent years. He is a singer and a composer, a gifted artist.

And would you believe?

They talked about the BER months saying that it is only a month to go before we start celebrating Christmas. Yes, we have the longest celebration of Christmas on planet earth that starts on September and ends around the month of January. Then Jose Mari Chan sang his famous Christmas songs and I was hooked. It prompted me to go to YouTube and find more, the Ray Conniff singers, the Gunter Kallmann choir and the group called Pentatonix. Of course the version of Bing Crosby’s   I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas tops them all.  It’s a 1942 original version.

Christmas in August, why not?

I have a confession to make. Over the years, I play Christmas songs as early as June and I get a thrill listening to those fantastic voices. There is nothing like a good melody to make you smile and reminisce even of Christmas past –  the family gatherings and reunions, buying gifts for family and close friends, preparing a nice menu for Christmas and New Year’s eve, seeing lanterns on the streets at night, decorating the Christmas tree and of course listening to Christmas music.

The days are long but they move fast. We still have birthdays to celebrate.

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And before the day starts, I  want to greet you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!  And Christmas clock says it is 18 hours, 53 minutes.

Thank you for another year of journeying with me.

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It’s a wet, wet Sunday morning.  It’s been raining since I woke and it looks like it’s gonna rain come Christmas day. A bed weather indeed.

It is the fourth Sunday of Advent.  So what season comes next after Advent? You’re right, it’s Christmas.

Last night I attended the 8th Simbang Gabi and it is also an anticipated mass for today. I was praying the rosary before the evening mass when my bracelet rosary chain broke and the swarovski stones were scattered on the floor. The elasticized chain gave up on me  after so many years of continued use.  I normally wear it when I go out.  Good thing I still have four more rosary bracelets made of different materials and were gifts from close friends.  I make rosaries as gifts but I also receive several ones from friends as pasalubong  (souvenirs) from abroad  mostly from Vatican, Siena, Spain and from the Holy Land.  I even have a  ring rosary sent by a friend from Italy.

I went out for a while to buy some fruits from the village store. Local fruits are more expensive than the imported ones, the latter mostly from China.  Mangoes, papaya, melons,  pomelo –  they have it all there.  Pears and apples are plenty so with imported oranges.

And the Christmas clock says, it’s one day, fourteen hours to go before Christmas 🙂

 

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Remembering the image of our front garden years ago when we still had those Koi fish swimming in our small pond. They are all gone now and the Pandakaki, Fukien Tea plants and Gold Dust plants have grown. The carabao grass had become a little sparse.  I have replaced some of my plants with new ones.

I miss my Koi. I miss their  golden bodies  swimming back and forth and the sound of flowing water made them seem to dance.

Sometimes, you long for the quiet moments – moments of reflection, moments of contemplation, moments that you love remembering time and again.

And the Christmas clock says, it’s three days, 11 hours to go before Christmas 🙂

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Perhaps you won’t believe this. I am finally done with Christmas shopping for family members and  my god-daughter. I had the chance to go back to the mall this morning  and made use of the time to roam around and buy Nate something for his birthday too.  They’re all wrapped and ready 🙂 Gifts for close friends will follow.

There is an advantage when you buy gifts early. The crowd is almost non-existent. You can choose gifts in your own sweet time  without having to hurry and fall in line at the counter.  Some areas  and stores have  brought out new Christmas decor already and believe me, they are more costly than last year.  Inflation rate here has gone too high and might be even higher come Christmas time.  Maybe next month, I’ll do the Christmas shopping for groceries that we will need come December.

The afternoon was spent at the garden trimming and pruning. The weather with a slight breeze is just right for gardening. I am not done yet though, there is still the carabao grass to cut.  Every month, we have to trim it.

I set aside reading for a while. Maybe I’ll try to catch up tonight.

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I was not mistaken.

Yesterday, Sunday, most radio stations played Christmas  songs in the air. You know those old familiar tunes and lyrics that you have memorized through the years. And you’re happy. They remind  you  of  Christmas past and those cold nights and foggy mornings. Yes, sometimes you wake up to cold morning breeze touching your cheeks, And yes, you’ll surely enjoy that hot cup of coffee and pan de sal of course. I’d like to think pan de sal  is comfort food for most Filipinos. It is part of their breakfast along with tocino (Filipino cured meat and tastes like bacon.) or longganisa  (Filipino sausage). Pan de sal is a common bread roll which you can buy hot and fresh from the oven at any neighborhood corner.  Although the price hasn’t gone up yet  (it’s pegged at P2 pesos each), the size has visibly shrunk.  Yet you still enjoy waiting for that vendor in a bike selling them every morning.   You patiently wait for that “potpot” sound of  the pan de sal vendor.

Longganisa, my recipe.

Pan de sal

Tocino

I just smiled.

I smiled while watching the early morning show on television.  They had guests who sang Christmas carols and a chef who prepared those mouth-watering Christmas recipes and menus. I am thinking of shopping early for family’s Christmas gifts.  Hopefully by November, they are all wrapped under the tree.  Did I tell you that we usually put up our  Christmas tree and decorations by November?

My own Christmas countdown and it is only September 3.  The air lanes are busy just like me, anticipating a happy occasion no matter how hard life is.

 

 

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I can’t really say 2017 (which is about to end) is a busy year for me.   There were those days when I was able to meet  with friends but compared to the other years, it was kind of silent.  Mostly,  the days and months were spent with family, experimenting in the kitchen, catching up on reading a lot of books and gardening.  Listening to music was set aside for a while but it’s nice to listen now to the Christmas songs and carols. There was a time I would bring out my Christmas DVD collections as early as October every year but now I just listen to YouTube or at Josef’s Bose mini soundlink.  He has a  lovely playlist on his phone that he play every weekend when he is around.  I get to listen to new tunes and old ones as well.

The other day,  Josef asked me to give him a hint on what I want to have as Christmas gift.  I told him that whatever he thinks of giving is okay with me. They always say, it is not the amount of the gift but the thought that counts, right? I’ve always wanted to have a nice headset though that I can use when I am watching a movie or videos  on YouTube or listening to some music.  At the moment, I am using his Sony headset listening to Pentatonix.  Great music, wonderful voices.

I usually don’t post videos here but this is just too good.  I remember my favorite choir,  the  Gunther Kallmann choir. I have their DVD album and a cassette tape too but now I just listen  on  YouTube.

As for blogging, I gained new friends and followers but I reduced the number of bloggers that I follow. Some of them have been inactive for quite sometime and a few marked their blogs  private.

And it’s  4 days, 5 hours and 40 minutes to go before Christmas 🙂

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So it’s December and we’re here waiting. I know you know how  I love the Christmas season. Really looking forward to the days ahead,

November ended on a  happy note. Nissa’s family came over for a visit then later on, we went to see  my new-born grandson. Elijah is the son of my niece who was born more than a week ago. We had a grand time catching up on each other’s lives and taking photos of course.  Before lunch yesterday, my younger brother  together with my sister-in-law and niece arrived  with Mom in tow. she’ll be staying here again probably until next year.  We had  a sort of mini-reunion (unplanned) and it was fun. Nissa and Nate had to leave early though since the latter had a practice for their kiddie fashion show. Remember the VTR I posted a few months ago on Nate?  The fashion show is the culmination of  those workshops.

Time flies. In a month, 2017 would be gone. We don’t know what 2018 has in store for all of us. We anticipate, we dream, we look forward to another year. But first, let us remember why we celebrate Christmas.

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It’s a fact that ours is the longest Christmas celebration in the whole world. Nothing could compare with the Simbang Gabi or the dawn masses that end on the day before Christmas. Where in the world could you find the whole family, extended families and sometimes close friends and other relatives celebrating Christmas together under one roof, sharing Noche Buena food, going to mass together, having fun with the kids and the whole rigmarole of exchanging gifts and jumping with joy because you got what you wished for? Or maybe you have given enough hint to your son and daughter that you want this and that without putting a hole in their pockets.

I remember one Christmas long ago, when my son was still in his teens, he told us that he did not want to receive gifts that he needs but he would be happy with something that he wants – the needs being the usual handkerchiefs, underwear, socks  etc. and the wants listed as a new jacket, books, gadgets   or some  simple do-it-yourself  things that he loves.

So how do you lessen stress and enjoy the holidays?  You can really plan ahead on what to prepare  by listing all the things you need and buying them at least  a month, three or two weeks before Christmas. One of the best recipes that we usually cook  in advance is the  embutido. Embutido is a Filipino style meatloaf that can be served hot or cold depending on your  taste and they can be stored in the freezer for as long as a month. There are times when I do  my Christmas shopping as early as the month of September and by November, all gifts are wrapped and labeled.  Do your Christmas shopping all year round. Be on the look out for items that you think would be appreciated by your loved ones. And when December comes, you don’t have to join the Christmas rush because you have saved time by planning ahead.

Don’t feel obliged to reciprocate each single item that you received from someone you didn’t get anything for, a simple “thank you” would be enough.

And there are only 35 days,  11 hours and 50 minutes to go before Christmas.   Enjoy shopping.

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